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2 Days in Manama for First Timers

Curated by Sarah Iredalewho has lived in the UAE and Oman.

Two days in Manama provides plenty of opportunity to see the city’s highlights, embark on a desert expedition, and spend time out on the waters of the Arabian Gulf. Read on for our tips on how to get the most out of 48 hours in the Bahraini capital.

Day 1: Morning

From the giant Al-Fateh Mosque to the Bahrain National Museum and twin-towered World Trade Centre, Manama offers a diverse lineup of sights. Cover as many as possible in a limited time on a half- or full-day tour, with door-to-door transport and a guide for information. Consider a private tour by luxury minivan or 4WD for extra comfort and the chance to tailor your sightseeing to your tastes.

Day 1: Afternoon

If you’re not on a full-day tour, earmark this afternoon to hit the ocean. Private cruises, a great way to go if you’re traveling in a group, deliver wide-screen views of Manama’s skyline. Thrill seekers, meanwhile, might prefer a water-sports experience that includes flyboarding, underwater boarding, Jet Skiing, and wakeboarding, all in one outing.

Day 1: Night

Take advantage of evening’s cooler temperatures by staying out-of-doors. Enjoy a horseback ride in the desert dusk, delve into Manama souk, and finish with dinner at one of the city’s smart beach hotels.

Day 2: Morning

Bahrain’s multifaceted history encompasses its ancient Dilmun civilization, Portuguese occupation, and a rich pearl-trading heritage. Delve into the city’s fascinating past on a tour in and around Manama, viewing Dilmun remnants in the desert, admiring Portuguese-built Bahrain Fort, and exploring the Arabian dhow boatyards and pearl merchants’ houses of Muharraq island—Bahrain’s former capital.

Day 2: Afternoon

You can’t visit Manama without experiencing the desert, so head off on a half-day tour to view the Tree of Life—a lone tree sprouting mysteriously from the sands—a camel farm, and Bahrain’s Grand Prix circuit. Otherwise, dial up the fun by booking a parasailing session to swoop high above the waves of the Arabian Gulf.

Day 2: Night

Finish your stay with a motorboat jaunt around the Amwaj Islands, human-made islets off Manama’s northern coast. Absorb the sea breezes and Manama and sunset views as you carve through the waves, making for a memorable last evening.

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